Sailing off the chart

Published on 05 January 2017


Volunteers have been pushing the boat out to promote Bedford 2017 at a national event held at the NEC Birmingham.

Graham Mabbutt, Pat Mathias (photographed) and Ian Morse gave out 100s of In & Around Bedford booklets and John Bunyan Boat Cruise leaflets and postcards and recorded 60 plus expressions of interest from Coach/Tour Operators/Organisers. 

“A very worthwhile if somewhat tiring day!  We even met with some who had already been on the boat on our public cruises and they all expressed their satisfaction with their trip.  Even if it results in just a handful of bookings in 2017 we will get a return on the investment made by, among others, BedfordBID which gave £750 to fund our stand at the show to support tourism promotion,” said Graham, volunteer Commercial Director of the John Bunyan Boat.

BedfordBID was one of the original funding supporters of the John Bunyan Boat and has continued to support the tourist crowd-puller which has to date taken 22,000 on river cruises. In addition BedfordBID which represents 500 levy-paying businesses in the town centre, has promoted Heritage Bedford which includes attractions like the boat and local museums.

“Bringing in visitors from far and wide to the town centre is part of the brief of the BID and although the council has responsibility for the Tourist Information Centre, currently at the bus station, businesses want to see a proactive approach to pulling in people from outside of Bedfordshire,” said BedfordBID Director Christina Rowe,

“The volunteers attached to the boat do a fantastic job and we are delighted to be able to support them.”

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